Wednesday, September 12, 2007

If Trees could talk...

Our next door neighbors are the proud caretakers of an immense old oak tree that although stately and magnificent, unfortunately provides us with minimal shade & lots of debris in the fall :-(

Today, that tree, along with its neighbor, an equally impressive oak tree, are both getting much-needed haircuts to trim up all their excess limbs & dead branches. In fact, as I'm sitting here writing, chainsaws are revving, limbs are falling and every once in awhile, a big crash, which leaves me cringing...

Our morning began when a gentleman in a bright orange T-shirt & hardhat, appeared in our backyard, and starting rigging up ropes & harnesses. I opened the sliding door, and was told, "Please stay in the house today. We'll do everything we can to protect your house & yard, but it's safest if you stay indoors."

OK then. I'm not sure our poor old fence can handle many direct blows, but maybe it's time to replace it anyway...

What I find really interesting is how long that tree has been around, to be as tall as it is (we've estimated it's over 6o feet tall!), and as expansive. A recent publication of our neighborhood newspaper, the Oak Hills Oracle, quoted one oak tree owner as saying their tree was over 250 years old!!!

250 years. That would mean it was planted in 1757!!! To put that year in perspective, I'll give you a little history: In 1757 Alexander Hamilton of the Hamilton-Burr duel, was 2 years old. The French & Indian War had been raging for 3 years. The Boston Tea Party wouldn't happen for another 16 years, with the Declaration of Independence 3 years past that! And the land this tree sits on would not even become a state until 102 years later, in 1859.

Wow! That's some life story. And assuming we continue to take care of it, with regular groomings, etc., and make sure it doesn't get diseased, and we don't have an act of God, like an earthquake or lightning strike, it should easily stand for another 250 years~~in fact, the oldest oak tree on record is over 1400 years old!!! Now that's old.

Feeling rather young and hoping our homeowners insurance is paid up :-)


Melinda said...

I really enjoyed this musing on the life of the oak! I revere and cherish the natural world. I had no idea that an oak has the potential to live such a long life. Most don't survive the establishment of subdivisions long enough to even reach the age of the one in your neighbor's yard! Fun research trivia!